Cold Stone Creamery Teams up with Best Buddies

Best Buddies International®

Cold Stone Creamery Teams up with Best Buddies International®


In 2016, Cold Stone Creamery® buddied up with Best Buddies International® after selecting the vibrant nonprofit to be its national charity partner. Best Buddies is the world's largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD. They help individuals within this community form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.

Cold Stone Creamery hosted its first nationwide fundraising campaign in support of Best Buddies International in August of 2016. During the month-long promotion, customers who donated $1 or more at participating locations, received a sticker featuring the iconic Best Buddies logo, designed by Keith Haring®. After a month of in-store fundraising, Cold Stone® stores raised more than $167,000 for the inclusive organization.

In an effort to generate additional excitement surrounding the national fundraiser, Cold Stone created a healthy competition between all stores. The owner of the store that raised the most funds for Best Buddies would win a trip for two to attend the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port. The Best Buddies Challenge is a two day fundraising event held annually in June in Boston & Hyannis Port, Massachusetts featuring a Football Challenge hosted by Tom Brady, a Food and Wine Festival hosted by Guy Fieri, bike races and runs of various distances, and a celebratory clambake and private concert by a special musical guest. The trip included two round trip airline tickets, hotel accommodations, a car rental, $500 in spending money and a photo opportunity with Best Buddies Celebrity Global Ambassador, Tom Brady.

Although this past year was the first year that Cold Stone partnered with Best Buddies on a national level, teaming up with Best Buddies was nothing new for local store owners Ruth and Bill of store #21265 in Romeoville, IL. For a number of years, their store has worked with the local Best Buddies chapter to support the organization’s initiative of helping program participants secure jobs. Participants have been hired to help with a variety of tasks such as mixing Creations™ on the stone, unwrapping candy, and greeting customers.

Ruth and Bill were introduced to Best Buddies through their longtime family friend and Cold Stone store manager Brad.  Brad’s 24-year-old daughter Zoie is a participant in the local Best Buddies program and is an integral part of the Cold Stone team and the community. Cognitively, Zoie is the age of a 4 year old, but that doesn’t stop her from bringing her joyful presence and helpfulness to the Cold Stone Creamery store.

Because of their connection with the organization, store #21265 was more than ready to support and promote the Best Buddies program during last year’s national fundraiser. Together they went above and beyond to decorate the store in promotional artwork, asked every customer for their support of the Best Buddies program, educated all of their customers about the Best Buddies initiatives, and hosted Best Buddies fundraising nights at the store. The store raised the most donations for Best Buddies and won the grand prize.

Even though they won an incredible opportunity, Ruth and Bill knew that the prize belonged to Brad and Zoie and donated the prize to them. Brad and Zoie’s efforts and dedication to the mission not only during the month-long fundraiser but year round played a large role in the success of the promotion.

Brad and Zoie journeyed to Hyannis Port in June 2017 for the annual Best Buddies Challenge where they met Tom Brady, watched a cooking demonstration with Guy Fieri, and enjoyed meeting a number of other attendees passionate about the Best Buddies initiatives.

Store #21265 is ready for another year of fundraising for the inclusive organization. Together with their amazing team and supportive community, they are eager to further educate and improve their community’s understanding of and involvement with Best Buddies.

Interested in learning more? Visit to find a local Best Buddies chapter and learn how you can get involved with the organization.

The 2017 national fundraiser will take place during the month of September. So visit your local Cold Stone Creamery store between September 1st and 30th to donate to Best Buddies and help them end the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  Together, we can make a sweet difference!